Watching season 2 of "You're the Worst" (now streaming on Hulu), I braced myself for an unrealistic depiction of a significant other "saving" his girlfriend from her symptoms.
Articles praising the relationship in "You're the Worst" often leave out things like Jimmy's alcoholism and how he can be a caretaker one day and oblivious the next. The reality is that Gretchen puts up with just as many of Jimmy's problems and he does just as many poorly motivated things as she does - he just doesn't blame them on clinical depression.
But on "You're the Worst," Gretchen's depression doesn't mean she needs or gets to be in a relationship with a saint. In fact, when you're dealing with issues that you can't always control, it's more important to be in relationship with people who are used to screwing up.
That's why the depiction of depression works while the show is somehow still funny.
At the end of the second season, Gretchen told Jimmy she would "talk to somebody" about her depression. That might mean counseling. It might mean asking for a prescription. Whatever it means, on this show it should mean screwing up — over and over again. Fortunately, the three steps Gretchen needs to do to take responsibility for her mental health are all ripe for comedy.
1. Describe her symptoms to a medical professional.
Primary care doctors try really hard to treat depression, but they are not specialists. They need to hear certain words like I am thinking about killing myself or I can barely get out of bed in the morning.
Here's how I picture Gretchen describing herself: Sometimes I cry for no reason. Sometimes I hate everyone. Sometimes I yell at people just because I can.
I suspect Gretchen will first be misdiagnosed as alcoholic (she might be, but that's likely only side-effect or side issue). Let's all pause to imagine Gretchen faced with completely changing her lifestyle by giving up booze.
2. Take time to identify side-effects of drugs.
If Gretchen starts to take antidepressants some of the side effects she could experience include:
* Sexual dysfunction ranging from reduced interest to physical symptoms (suspected reaction: WTF ARE YOU KIDDING)
* Constant sleeping
* Inability to sleep
* Irritability (hard to picture Gretchen being more irritable, amiright?)
* Suicidal thoughts (this does not seem to be a big problem for Gretchen currently, so it would be interesting to see the show deal with the possibility antidepressants can actually make you more depressed)
3. See a licensed professional counselor.
Counselors range from good to horrible and so do their techniques. Gretchen will likely start with a talk therapy counselor (which she will hate precisely because it involves talking about your problems). Then she might be recommended other techniques, such as EMDR (which stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing and sounds worse than it is) or even hypnotherapy. Just imagine the jokes Jimmy could make about hypnotherapy.
Season 3 premiered on FXX Wednesday night. Catch up on seasons 1 and 2 on Hulu now.